p. 877 C
EXTRACTS FROM INSTRUCTIONS, PASSED UNDER THE ROYAL SIGN MANUAL AND SIGNET, FOR LORD DORCHESTER
AS CAPTAIN GENERAL AND GOVERNOR IN CHIEF OF THE PROVINCE OF LOWER CANADA.¹
[L.S.] George R.
C.O. INSTRUCTIONS, QUEBEC, 1786-1791.
Instructions to Our Right Trusty and Welbeloved Guy, Lord Dorchester, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Our Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over Our Province of Lower Canada; Given at Our Court at St. James's, the Sixteenth day of September, 1791, In the Thirty First Year of Our Reign.
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31. And Whereas nothing can more effectually tend to the speedy settling of Our said Province of Lower Canada, the Security of the Property of our Subjects and the Advancement of our Revenue, than the disposal of such Lands as are Our Property upon reasonable terms, and the establishing of a regular and proper method of Proceeding, with respect to the passing of Grants of such Lands. It is therefore Our Will and Pleasure, that all and every Person and Persons who shall apply for any Grant or Grants of Land, shall previous to their obtaining the same, make it appear that they are in a condition to cultivate and improve the same, and in case you shall, upon a consideration of the Circumstances of the Person or Persons applying for such Grants, think it adviseable to pass the same, you are in such Case to cause a Warrant to be drawn up directed to the Surveyor General or other Officers, impowering him or them to make a faithful and exact Survey of the Lands so petitioned for, and to return the said Warrant within Six Months at farthest from the date thereof, with a Plot or Description of the Lands so surveyed thereunto annexed, and when the Warrant shall be so returned by the said Surveyor, or other proper Officer, the Grant shall be make out in due form, and the Terms and Conditions required by these Our Instructions be particularly and expressly mentioned therein—And it is Our Will and Pleasure that the said Grants shall be registered within Six Months from the date thereof in the Register's Office, and a Docket thereof be also entered in Our Auditor's
¹ From a contemporary copy in the Canadian Archives, G. 181, p. l.
Office, Copies of all which Entries shall be returned regularly by the proper Office to Our Commissioners of Our Treasury.
32. And for the further Encouragement of Our Subject, It is Our Will and Pleasure that the Lands to be granted by you as aforesaid, shall be laid out in Townships, and that each inland Township shall, as nearly as Circumstances shall admit, consist of Ten Miles Square; and such as shall be situated upon a navigable River or Water shall have a front of NIne Miles, and be twelve Miles in Depth, and shall be subdivided in such manner as may be found most adviseable for the accommodation of the Settlers, and for making the several Reservations for Public Uses and particularly for the Support of the Protestant Clergy agreeably to the above recited Act passed in the present Year of Our Reign.
33. And Whereas great Inconveniences have heretofore arisen in many of the Colonies in America from the granting excessive Quantities of Land to particular Persons who have never cultivated or settled the same, and have thereby prevented others more industrious from improving such Lands—In order therefore to prevent the like inconveniences in future, it is Our Will and Pleasure that you observe the following Directions and Regulations in all Grants to be made by you as aforesaid; vizt
That no Town Lot shall be granted to any one Person being Master or Mistress of a Family in any Township to be laid out as aforesaid which shall contain more than one Acre of Land.
That no Park Lot shall be granted to any one Person being Master or Mistress of a Family in any Township so to be laid out, which shall contain more than Twenty four Acres.
That no Farm Lot shall be granted to any one Person being Master or Mistress of a Family in any Township so to be laid out, which shall contain more than 200 Acres.
It is Our Will and Pleasure, and you are hereby allowed and permitted to grant unto every such Person or Persons such further Quantity of Land as they may desire, not exceeding one Thousand Acres over and above what may have heretofore been granted to them, and in all Grants of Land to be made by you as aforesaid, you are to take care that due regard be had to the quality and comparative Value of the different parts of Land comprized within any Township, so that each Grantee may have as nearly as may be a proportionable quantity of lands of such different Quality and comparative value, as likewise that the breath of each Tract of Land to be hereafter granted be one third of the length of such Tract, and that the length of such Tract do not extend along the Banks of any River, but into the main Land, that thereby the said Grantees may have each a convenient Share of what accomodation the said River may afford for navigation or otherwise.
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56. It is Our Royal Intention that the Peltry Trade of the Interior Country shall be free and open to all Our Subjects, Inhabitants of any of Our
Colonies, who shall, pursuant to what was directed by Our Royal Proclamation of 1763 obtain trading Licenses from the Governors of any of Our said Colonies under Penalties to observe such Regulations as shall be made by Our Legislature of Our Province of Lower Canada for that Purpose—These Regulations therefore, when established, must be made Public throughout all Our American Possessions, and they must have for their Object the giving every possible facility to that Trade which the nature of it will admit, and which may be consistent with fair and just dealing towards the native Indians with whom it is carried on; The fixing stated times and places for carrying on the Trade and adjusting Modes of settling Tariffs of the Prices of Goods and Furrs, and above all the restraining the Sale of Spirituous Liquors to the Indians, will be the most probable and effectual Means of answering the ends proposed.
57. The Fisheries on the Coast of Labrador and the Islands adjacent thereto, are Objects of the greatest Importance, not only on account of the Commodities they produce, but also as Nurseries of Seamen upon whom the Strength and Security of Our Kingdom depend.
58. Justice and Equity demand that the real and actual property and possession of the Canadian Subjects which existed at the time of the Cession of the said Province on that Coast should be preserved entire, and that they should not be molested or hindered in the Exercise of any Sedentary Fisheries they may have established there.
59. Their Claims however extend to but a small district of the Coast, on the greatest part of which District, a Cod Fishery is stated to be impracticable.
60. On all such parts of the Coast where there are no Canadian possessions, and more especially where a valuable Cod Fishery may be carried on, it will be your Duty to make the Interest of Our British Subjects going out to fish there in Ships fitted out from Great Britain, the first Object of your Care, and as far as circumstances will admit to establish on that coast the Regulations in favour of British fishing Ships which have been so wisely adopted by the Act of Parliament passed in the Reign of King William the Third, for the Encouragement of the Newfoundland Fishery, and by the several Acts passed in the 15, 26, 28 and 29th years of Our Reign for that purpose; And you are to be Account to allow any Possession to be taken, or Sedentary Fisheries to be established upon any parts of the Coast that are not already private Property by any Persons whatever, except only such as shall produce annually a certificate of their having fitted out from some Port in Great Britain.
61. Whereas it will be for the general Benefit of our Subject carrying on the Fishery in the Bay of Chaleurs in Our Province of Lower Canada, that such Part of the Beach and Shore of the said Bay as is ungranted, should be reserved to Us, Our Heirs, and Successors, it is therefore Our Will and Pleasure that you do not in future direct any Survey to be made or Grant to be passed for any part of the ungranted Beach or Shore of the said Bay
of Chaleurs, except such parts thereof as by Our Orders in Council dated the 29th of June and 21st of July 1786 are directed to be granted to John Shoolbred of London, Merchant, and to Messrs Robin, Pipon and Company of the Island of Jersey Merchants, but that the same be reserved to Us, Our Heirs and Successors, together with a Sufficient Quantity of Wood Land adjoining thereto, necessary for the purpose of carrying on the Fishery; The Limits of such Wood Land so to be reserved to be determined upon and ascertained by you and Our Executive Council for Our said Province of Lower Canada, in such manner as from the most authentic Information shall appear to you and them most convenient and proper for that purpose—It is nevertheless Our Intention, and We do hereby signify to you Our Will and Pleasure, that the free use of such Beach or Shore, and of the Wood Land so to be reserved, shall be allowed by you or any Person authorized by you, to such of Our Subjects as shall resort thither for the purpose of carrying on the Fishery in such proportions as the number of Chaloups he or they shall respectively employ may require; Provided that, if any Fisherman who shall have permission to occupy any part of the said Beach or Shore, and Wood Land for the purpose of the said Fishery, shall not during any one Season continue so to occupy and employ any part of the said Beach or Shore, and Wood Land so allotted to him, you or any Person authorized by you as above may and shall allow the use of such part to any other Fisherman who shall apply for the same for the purpose of carrying on the Fishery. And Whereas it may be necessary to establish local Regulations to prevent Abuses as well as disputes and misunderstanding between the Fishermen resorting to the said Beach or Shore, it is Our Will and Pleasure that you, by and with the Advice and Consent of Our said Executive Council, do frame such Regulations from time to time as to you shall appear necessary to answer those salutary purposes, and that you transmit the same to Us through one of Our principal Secretaries of State for Our Pleasure therein, and Copies thereof to Our Committee of Our Privy Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations by the first Opportunity.
62. And Whereas it is expedient for our Service that We should from time to time be informed of the State of the Trade and Fisheries, as well as of the Population of Our said Province of Lower Canada; It is our Will and Pleasure, that you do transmit to Us through one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, and to Our Committee of Our Privy Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations for their Information, yearly and every year, a full and particular Account of the State of the Fur and Peltry Trade, The Nature and Extent of the several Fisheries carried on by Our Subjects or others, either on the Coasts Lakes or Rivers of the said Province, the State of Cultivation, particularly specifying the Quantity of Grain, Hemp, and Flax produced, and of any other important Branch of Trade which may in your opinion be undertaken and advantageously carried on by Our Subjects; the number of Inhabitants, distinguishing them under different heads, of Men, Women, and Children, inserting in such Account the number of Persons born, christened, and buried, and any extraordinary Influx or Emigration from Our said
Province, specifying at the same time the number of Slaves, and the number of Our Subjects capable of bearing Arms in the Militia, the Number and Tonnage of Shipping and Craft employed upon the Lakes or Rivers in or contiguous to the Province of Upper Canada, and of the Number and Tonnage of the Shipping entering inwards or clearing outwards from the Ports of Our Provinces of Lower Canada; together with any other Information on these or any other points of the like nature which may be proper to be communicated to Us.
63. And Whereas for some years past, the Governors of some of Our Plantations have seized and appropriated to their own use, the produce of Whales of several kinds taken upon those Coasts, upon pretense that whales and¹ Royal Fishes, which tends greatly to discourage that Branch of Fishery in Our Plantations, and to prevent Persons from settling there. It is therefor Our Will and Pleasure that you do not pretend to any Claim nor give any manner of Discouragement to the Fishery of Our Subjects upon the Coasts of the Province under your Government, but on the contrary, that you give all possible Encouragement thereto.
Endorsed: Instructions for the Right Honourable
Lord Dorchester, Governor of Lower Canada.
Dated 16th September, 1791.
¹ An error for "are."